I once when through a period where, whenever anyone would mention CLAMP, serious butt-kissing on my part would ensue. Even when someone was particularly venomous towards them and their work, I’d say something along the lines of “Aw, but, they’re not that bad.” Before quickly changing the subject, embarrassed by the lack of solid evidence I had to support this claim. This was largely due to the fact they created XXXHOLiC, a manga which was adapted into one of my all-time favourite shows.
XXXHOLiC has mixed reviews but, I am a ginormous fan! So many aspects of it cater to my anime-related preferences; it was like this show was made for me! It is of the horror genre, which was, at the time, one of my favourite genres, so, as a result, was incredibly eerie at points, it is largely episodic, a format suited to my short attention span, and then, there’s Yuuko. I strongly believe that a single character can make or break a show and that’s exactly what Yuuko did for me. She was the sole driving force behind the story, (and many other CLAMP stories, as a matter of fact) being as intelligent and manipulative as she was. Yet, for all her worldly wisdom she acted like a big baby the large majority of the time, making outrageous demands and acting without inhibition, it was this side to her character that helped create such a big contrast when she’s turn serious, both shocking and fascinating me. Heh, as you can tell, I fell deeply, and madly in love with Yuuko. Her comedic foil, Watanuki, the boy with less grace than a spider on roller-skates wasn’t that awful a character either. It wouldn’t be an exaggeration to say that this show, single-handedly, elevated the women of CLAMP to goddesses, in my eyes.
However, before HOLiC came Tsubasa. It’s difficult to say what it was about Tsubasa I didn’t like exactly- I don’t remember a single thing about it! Well, tell a lie, I do remember there being a lot of homolust between some of its characters but, I can hardly complain about that now, can I? It’s not that I have a bad memory when it comes to anime but, when I think back to Tsubasa, nothing! Which I suppose is a pretty big criticism in itself- anime that aren’t memorable in the slightest are crap, full stop. Nonetheless, after becoming infatuated with HOLiC, I naively assumed this smear on CLAMP’s credentials was merely a one-off, (stop laughing! I was a young, naïve anime fan back then!) surely, the rest of their shows wouldn’t be as forgettable as Tsubasa?
Then there was Kobato. Mum walked in on me watching it once and said I looked as though I’d had a lobotomy; this pretty much captures how I felt whilst watching the show. Sure, its concept was kinda sweet but, its execution was so mind-numbingly dull and slow-paced and the characters so boring and typical of anime, (a genki girl and an aloof, angsty boy, pfft, how original!) that to those observing it looked as though someone had removed a hefty portion of my brain! The highlight of the show was Kobato’s outfits, and when the highlight of a show is the main character’s clothes, that doesn’t say much for it, does it? At this point my faith in CLAMP had begun to waver slightly, maybe it was actually HOLiC that was the one-off, not Tsubasa, as previously supposed?
The final straw came in the form of Blood-C. Now, Blood+ is one of my favourite shows so, when I saw it was getting a sequel, (that’s what it appeared to be, at the time) I was ecstatic! My happiness was only slightly marred by the fact it was being written and produced by CLAMP- I can afford to give them one more chance, I foolishly thought. I have only watched two episodes to date but, they were more than enough to convince me both that Blood-C’s only connection to my beloved show was that the main character was called Saya and that CLAMP was unworthy of my support after all.
So CLAMP, I shall be taking my adoration and investing it into some other group, one that doesn’t tease me with just the one good show before continually letting me down, SHAFT perhaps. Sure, they produced the abysmal Dance in the Vampire Bund but, better one shit show amongst a host of brilliant ones than the other way ‘round!
At least, that’s what I thought until I watched a little show called Chobits just a few weeks ago…
To be continued…